Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jules Taylor Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007

A strong, dark cherry cola of a Pinot. A Marlborough style with a lot of weight and intensity. A fair whack of alcohol too but that's by the by as the fruit holds the extraction and heat together in an appealing package. There's an element of dark fruit syrup tempered by orange zest all mixed up with a heady, confusing aroma of gingerbread spices. The sweetness of cinnamon against a counterpoint of something else. After an investigation in the further reaches of the pantry we pinned it down to mace. For all that it's a one song wine and doesn't develop in the glass.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Armantes Old Bush Vine Garnacha 2006

My miniscule pour for the weekend. A splash of garnet in the glass. Translucent yet not without depth and clinging to the sides with a rasberry film after swirling. Armantes Garnacha is a wine that pops up in wine writing fom here in little old Nu Zillund to Blighty, the States and beyond. All almost universally cheering on it's plump, vivaceous flavours and approachable price. It's a story that's hard to beat. 50 year old vines! We can barely manage half, a quarter that in this part of the world. Under $20 without a green, stalky note to be seen yet avoiding the cherry-pop swig of lesser Australian models (not that there's not heaps of cheery Oz reds available for well under $20, but this is exotic!).

Spanish Grenache does a lovely line in sweet chocolate aromas and the Armantes is no exception. A hint of caramel, strawberry, rasberry bound up in a proper red wine palate of fine drying tannins. Rustic yet not bombastically so this is floral in all the right places. Bucolic rather than boorish.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stealing from a friend....

I have taken more out of wine than wine has taken out of me...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Te Mata Estate Showcase 2009

This afternoon was so information heavy I'm daunted by the amount of notes I have scribbled down. The margins of my tasting book crawling with the red ink of the biro I was supplied with. On the back of the price list also.

I'll stick (for now) to the brief impressions that append the full winery tasting notes in the book.

Zara Viognier Hawke's Bay 2008
A full baked apple kind of nose. With a sense of sweetness but not oiliness the palate is filmy and skillful but not showy. Fine citrus, long and balanced at 13.5% the alcohol, so often a problem in Nu Zillund viognier is held in check.

Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay 2008
Fig and guava with a honey toast background. The addition of semillon (11%) shows in a waxy quality in the nose and palate. Fine green and fesh with a counterpoint of cream. The 30% new oak is perfectly integrated. "Nalied it' New World Bordeaux Blanc.

Elston Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2007
Sweet vanilla oak really dominant on the nose overlaying lush pineapple. Despite a new winery decision to hold Elston back (hence the 're-showing' of '07) this still seems bony and awkward. There's some typical Elston grapefruit in there but it's struggling with the full French and full malo right now.

Bullnose Syrah Hawke's Bay 2007
At this stage the Bullnose has an opulent, fruit forward nose with intrinsic blueberry notes. Spiky spices and exotic star anise are evolving alonside prickly tannins. Youthful

Awatea Cabernet Merlot Hawke's Bay 2007
A bowlful of ripe red fruits, dusty cedar. The tannins are mouthcoating but gossamer sheer. This still seems a bit hard.

I think I'm tired. You'd think from reading these notes that I didn't enjoy or admire the new releases from Te Mata when the opposite is true. Te Mata Estate is emminently admirable. The wines enjoyable. A 'class act' and a delightful family business. Hearing Nicolas Buck speak about the winery and their recent successes - off the back of some favourable Parker scores - was heartening, heartfelt stuff.

I'll leave writing about the vertical of Coleraine till tomorrow. Jeez, I need to revisit the notes above.

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